Boris Johnson becoming the UK Prime Minister is another proof that political twists are becoming more and more acute. Not even Donald Trump himself could have imagined that he would become the US President. Technically, he had the democratic right and privilege to aspire to the position, but logically or diplomatically he did not represent the American spirit so to speak. At the same time, Trump was a shame for a huge chunk of liberal Americans who flaunted their internationalist ideology. But he did prove the political pundits wrong. Lo and behold, the USA that had created history by electing the first Afro-American, Obama, as their 44th President swung to the other extreme of the spectrum to elect a parochial leader as their next President. The rest is history.
The United Kingdom scripted their own history by going one step further from Brexit. Boris Johnson, one of the most controversial figures in British politics, has become their new Prime Minister. Most of his controversies are related to his idiotic statements about other countries. When Barack Obama suggested that the UK should stay in the European Union, he infamously said that his comment must have been triggered by an ‘ancestral dislike’ as he was ‘part Kenyan’. Can anyone imagine that an elitist Englishman, educated in Oxford, would speak in such mean-minded language? He is often compared with Trump. Rightly so. Some people call him ‘nice Trump’.
Both Donald Trump and Boris Johnson represent rather primitive aspirations. They are “primitive” in the context of the emergent liberalism that freethinkers in both the US and the UK wholeheartedly espouse to. The emergence of these right wing leaders is conveying a serious message which is simply this – the world is not happy about emergent liberalism. The majority of people are getting nostalgic over their traditional beliefs and practices.
The emergence of Narendra Modi in India is the consequence of this very same phenomenon. Hindutva is to Modi what ‘Walls’ is to Trump and ‘Brexit’ is to Johnson. The USA in a sense was becoming a victim of its own liberalism. Their immigration policy was giving too much leverage to immigrants at the cost of a loss of jobs to Americans. They had a felt-need of a ‘wall’ to be built around them that would guard them from this aggressive influx. In other words, they needed a bully who would intimidate formidable immigrants from encroaching too much. And they got their ‘bully’ in Trump who repeatedly promised to build a wall. The only way to make America great again (according to them) was by keeping outsiders out and scrapping Obama’s idea of sharing their resources with the rest of world.
The European Union was doing the same thing to the UK. Their poorer EU partners were taking advantage of free entry into the UK. In other words, the UK was losing more and gaining less from the union. The only way to stop this catastrophe was to exit from the EU. When Teresa May failed to deliver Brexit, they needed a saviour and Boris Johnson came along. He is not an internationalist by any stretch of the imagination. He is British parochialism personified.
How is Hindutva ideology attributing to Modi’s rise? Hindutva politics are cleverly played around three worrying notions – (A) The uncontrolled growth of Muslim population in India is jeopardizing the future of the Hindu majority. (B) Pakistan is the biggest enemy of India and this enmity is religious, not political. (C) India, more precisely, Bharat, was a great nation endowed with the most advanced religious teaching, science and economy and colonialists ruined it. What is more, the Congress party is not doing anything to revive that Bharat. The BJP has presented itself as the only political force that can address these three things. As a Nepali saying goes – Afai Boksi, Aafi Dhami. That is precisely why the lynching of Muslims is escalating. That is precisely why the war of words with Pakistan and even the supposed killing of terrorists in Pakistan by the Indian army helped the BJP party win public support. That is exactly why, yoga and the Patanjali kind of businesses are rising. When the BJP top-notch leaders are saying that Ganesha is proof of advanced plastic surgery, the birth of Karna is proof of genetic science and Sanjaya narrating the Kurukshetra war live is the proof of advanced telecommunication in ancient India, they are triggering nostalgia in the public mind over Vedic India.
America is fed up with its present reality. The UK is fed up with its present reality. So is India. All these countries want to rediscover their perceived glorious past by way of supporting right wing ideologies. Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his last term of 5 years did not do much to show to the world that India is indeed re-evolving into a glorious Bharat. President Trump hasn’t done much either to ‘make America Great again’. Now time will tell whether the flamboyant Prime Minister Johnson (who is also derogatively called the Clown Prince of British Politics) will make DUDE happen – D for Deliver Brexit, U for Unite the party and nation, D for Defeat Corbyn and E for energize the country. The bottom-line is, the American Superpower is in need of a wall to stop the world from entering; the UK, the native speaker of the global lingua franca, needs Brexit to escape from the world and India needs Hindutva to save the majority Hindu population from minority religions. An abnormal sense of insecurity these have!
The re-emergence of right wing leadership may seem accidental. But it was long overdue. People are inherently territorial creatures who were pretending to be broadminded in the so called modern era. Looks like their honeymoon with the sophisticated idea of broad mindedness (liberalism) is over. It is time to get parochial again.
Both Donald Trump and Boris Johnson represent rather primitive aspirations. They are “primitive” in the context of the emergent liberalism that freethinkers in both the US and the UK wholeheartedly espouse to. But the majority of people are getting nostalgic over their traditional beliefs and practices. The emergence of Narendra Modi in India is the consequence of this very same phenomenon. Hindutva is to Modi what ‘Walls’ is to Trump and ‘Brexit’ is to Johnson.